tv BBC World News WHUT April 20, 2010 7:00am-7:30am EDT
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>> and now "bbc world news." >> this is "gmt" on "bbc world news." a glimmer of hope for travelers as some flights start taking off. >> at the frankfurt airport with stands up and all airlines are trying to begin some kinds of limited service. there are fresh concerns over future flights after volcanic eruptions in iceland sent a second cloud of ash headed towards europe. >> heathrow airport the message is as clear as the sky, no flights in or out of london expected. not much better for the rest of the u.k.. meaning that alternative routes home remain the norm.
getting ready for a long journey back to britain. >> in other news, the pressure piles on goldman sachs as u.k. authorities launched investigations into their dealings. hello, welcome to "gmt." after five days of empty skies over europe there is just a glimmer of hope for some air travel. experts have been trying to play a game of cat and mouse with a massive cloud of volcanic ash spewing out across the atlantic and what western europe. germany is a case where the airport's open call only to promptly close again. let's start with my colleague at frankfurt airport. >> at dawn there was a sudden
rush of people with nothing more than hope and a ticket, which might have gotten them somewhere, they turned up hoping that they would at least be given a seat on a plane headed to where they were intending to go a few days ago. many people have at least checked in. looking at the departure board, only seven are actually showing that they will leave, the rest are canceled. on the arrivals board there are simply no more flights expected. 15% of those expected over the next few hours do have an estimated time of arrival. we can get a sense of how things are moving by looking at the flight explorer that charts the airplanes as they move. this time yesterday that area was completely empty, now you can see that some of those blue airplanes are moving around,
giving the sense that europe is back on the move. half of the scheduled flights will be moving through the space. let's get an update from edward buchanan. >> no sign of the eruption calling down, the volcano is missing more lob and less ashton before. it is heading for major air routes. there is caution across europe, although air-traffic controllers in paris have declared a safe to allow for some flights. they are keen to reduce the backlog of passengers who have had to endure or enjoy a few more days in the french capital. >> shopping, shopping, more shopping. we enjoyed fairest. i think we are just a bit
nervous that we are the first flight heading out and we hope to make it back to san francisco ok. >> of germany's airport is expected to open in a few hours, having special permission to fly at low altitudes. >> the royal air ship has just talked to pick up two soldiers, traveling to cyprus. british children have been unable to return home. for many is a low land journey to the port. once there, many companies say that there is space to get people back to the uk. >> it is important that of everyone knows they can get away channel port, we can get them from europe to the united
kingdom. capacity is available to take people across the channel if necessary, able to take considerable members of people. >> for those in the far east, like china, there is no easy route across the land. many feel that a safety first approach is the right one. >> i would rather stay here on the ground with my wife and take my chances in the air. i am quite content to be on the ground until we know that it is reasonably safe. she is quite happy that i am still on terra firma. >> those passengers flying home soon, the chances are remote. everyone is watching and
waiting as the flight picture changes shape. >> within the last few hours there has been optimism here. now there is less optimism and more pessimism. i am joined by robert payne, a spokesperson for the frankfurt airport. >> the latest is that the general restriction on aerospace a round frankfurt and other airports in germany is that it will be closed until 8:00. we have special exemptions for flights operating at the moment. >> every airplane is a special exemption that must fly on low altitude and vision inside? >> by an operation, yes. >> managing this airport, what has happened to the many hundreds who have already checked in?
>> these are the flights that are confirmed today under our flight rules. >> so, there is no latitude? >> in terms of the passengers it is only for the flights that are going out today. >> are you satisfied that everyone has a chance to fly somehow? >> that is a question you will have to ask the airlines. we are a neutral partner in the middle. our main concern is to make the passengers as comfortable as possible. for those stock in the international travel area, things have changed quite a bit. they are waiting for the appropriate connecting flight. >> let's be clear, presumably they have novi's of, no money, and do not want to enter germany. >> initially was much higher.
but it has been brought down the 350. we are taking good care of them. >> crises are about lessons learned. what has frankfurt learned in this unprecedented crisis. >> it has proven that the things that we put into operation are right in the transit area very quickly and the amenities that we introduce, like providing entertainment for the children, have been very well received. it is not over yet and i will leave that question. >> thank you for sharing time to join us. we have had rather more pessimistic news, all the airplanes with special permission can take off here in frankfurt and other german airports. let's go to madrid, technically other side of his own, seen
potentially as a hub for trans- atlantic passengers to move on by land and sea. sarah joins me now from the airport. we have been talking to you each hour. what is changing with you? >> the latest we have out of britain is that the authorities are planning to send some 100 countries here to madrid because they are planning to use them as the hub we have been speaking about for some time. a difficult logistical operation, what is being discussed is that flights that are supposed to be headed for the uk being diverted to madrid instead, getting people on to their final destination is a difficult operation and it appears to be coming -- it appears debate bearing fruit.
i can tell you that the passengers who are getting on the coaches are beginning to arrive. there are a couple downstairs that made their way here from johannesburg, another family from televisa because they heard the coaches were being made available. i think that this will become the congregation point for people that want to get back to the uk using these special coaches. for anyone else in northern europe, there have been windows of opportunity and flights taking off from places like brussels and prague. german flights have been canceled so far. other places suffering destruction today, the passengers are supposed to be on those flights, their governments are not making specific arrangements to get them home, coaches being used to take them up to as far as brussels and
even paris. a difficult picture with character emerging from the details. >> thank you for joining us, sarah. here in germany regulations have been extended. it was thought that they would be relaxed. only visual flying for the pilots at very low altitudes and certain emergency patterns. let's see what is happening in britain, which has suffered from the beginning of the volcanic eruptions. my colleague, david, is now at heathrow. >> thank you indeed. the answer is not much. nothing at all here in heathrow, frankly nothing is expected. british airways have already said that any prospect of short- haul flights are done and tested. while they do talk about long-
haul flights, they only do it provided that there is permanent aerospace and no one is expecting that either. we have a representative of the international federation of air line pilots association. safety first is your mantra, is it not? >> that said, multiple airlines are saying hang on, but it is safer and we can do better than this. the problem that we have is that there is no scientific data. unless you have the proper sampling of data to analyze, there is nothing you can do. >> the impression we are getting is that the evidence used to bring about this across the board flight ban in the first place was a spurious to say the least. >> it is a moot point, is it not? it is exactly what we are
saying. all decisions must be made to focus on the safety. we need real time studies. they know that it is a dynamic and boiling cauldron that changes all the time. planning routes that will keep you clear of the ashes. >> are you concerned -- are you uplifted at the better management of airspace to come up with a consistent view as to whether they should be open or closed? >> they need to look at it, but the local conditions are also drivers. changing rapidly and often. we must see a flexible approach. it is not like all right, let's go fly.
we would like to see something more dynamics of the flights can be carried out safely. >> you do not compare with it their view on their own test flights, perhaps not good enough for you. q. you think the day of put undue pressure on the authorities to get their plans back up again? >> certainly they are putting pressure on. we understand that. but safety is the primary concern. remember, we are talking about a very dynamic situation. the decision to fly or not fly must always remain with the pilot and commander. >> thank you for joining us here. a very quiet day at heathrow, i cannot remember when i heard so little noise coming out of one of the world's busiest airports.
speaking of these dynamic changes the we are working within, the place to go for the latest on that is iceland and in the vicinity of the volcano. everyone wants to know when it will quiet down, but it is not that straightforward, is it? >> quite a complicated dynamic as to what is happening. we have been speaking to the geophysicists from the icelandic civil defense department this morning as they say that it is not the current- being emitted by the volcano that is causing problems at the moment over europe, but rather the previous clout at the beginning of the eruption, spewing out ashes into the atmosphere at 500 tons per second. the level produced now has dropped considerably. there are plans within the next few minutes to take
geophysicists out with sensitive equipment to see what is happening at the top of the eruption. they say that there are three separate craters at the moment and that there is lot of coming out with less-is being produced -- lots of love -- lava coming out and there is still ash being pumped out but at a much lower rate than previously. >> i would hazard to guess that most people would think that sounded vaguely positive, but as a dynamic situation things can change very fast. the situation here in heathrow is that nothing has changed at all. we have heard a british airways flights leaving places like
bangkok, headed this way without any realistic prospect of touching ground. moving to madrid or frankfurt, perhaps getting passengers just a little bit closer to home. >> thank you. this is gm t. coming up, britain launches its own investigation into goldman sachs after allegations of fraud in the united states. staying with our top story, not only europe is being affected by the ash cloud. passengers are stranded all over the world. we have been assessing the impact in asia and one of the major hubs.
>> here in singapore this is one of the largest air hubs. more than 150 flights have been canceled since last thursday. this is costing asian carriers millions of dollars each day. tell me what the impact is so far. >> the honest answer is we have not even look at that right now. the challenge is to manage this from an operating standpoint. that said, on average we have about 25 flights every day to and from europe. the vast majority of those have been canceled for the last few days. clearly this is happening -- having a significant operational impact. >> what have you been offering the stranded passengers.
>> we have been putting them up in hotels. those who are european residents are getting priority. those that are able to return home, we have been rigged -- encouraging them to do so and making them offers to resume their travel at another time if they are on holiday or business. helping us to clear out the backlog a little bit. as i said, we are putting them in hotels on a 24-hour basis. >> this is "gmt" from bbc world news. the main headlines -- the first airplanes have taken off but most airlines are grounded across europe. there are concerns that new or
eruptions in the volcano have generated a new ash cloud. one day after gordon brown accused goldman sachs of moral bankruptcy, the country's financial watchdog has been staffed with a former formal investigation probe coming four days after u.s. regulators filed against goldman sachs. together the investigation looks set to become one of the biggest in the history of banking. sarah is with us now. before we get into the legal wrangle, goldman sachs just released their latest results? >> that is right. it has a reputation as the most profitable investment bank on wall street. let me give you the headlines. net profits, 3.4 $6 billion.
that is for the first quarter, up 91% from the same time last year, very nearly $13 billion. clearly even better than analysts had forecast. >> of course, on the back of that there will likely be some bonuses? >> you mentioned the british prime minister, gordon brown, accusing the investment bank of moral bankruptcy. billions of dollars expected to be paid out that are likely to lead to further benefits. the problems we have today with the financial regulator, that is not the kind of freight to the goldman sachs would have wanted.
>> thank you. demonstrators in thailand have called off a march in the business district, in an attempt to force another election. the military says that they were prepared to use weapons to deal decisively with protesters. our correspondent is in bangkok. >> they did not give us a reason, but they said they did not want a confrontation with the army. the anti-government protesters are pretty much doing the same in their own territory, camped out in that of market territory, about 1 kilometer from where the financial district starts. these positions are quite close. if you walk into the area it
starts to feel like a front- line. red shirt and tie-government protesters falsifying the barricades around their encampment, saying that they expect the military to move on their camp but they do not know when or how. the government says that they will bring law and order back to the streets, but it will not say when or how. >> that was rachel harvey in bangkok. let's get a roundup of other stories from around the world. china is having a national day of mourning for victims of the earthquake. the death toll has passed the 2000 mark and efforts to help have been hampered by bad weather in and around the worst hit territories. the leader of the catholic church in cuba has said that the country is in crises -- crisis
and people are openly criticizing that communist system. there was a national consensus that radical change was necessary. south korea has warned that sixth party talks will not be able to continue after the sinking of one south korean warship. 46 sailors were killed last month. the ship has been moved onto land for a full investigation. let's return now to our main story, the six the day of the crisis crippling flights across the world. you have been monitoring this situation, have you not? >> is very fluid. you literally have to keep an eye on exactly what is happening. a very difficult situation, i am sure, for passengers out there. they are continuing to monitor the situation after finding that
the volcanic eruptions as strengthened. many new uncertainty for plans to reopen some airports. romania, bulgaria, russia, lithuania, all sending flights. those about 10,000 meters are actually taking off, traveling south words only. northern ireland, with spain only having 17 airports open. switzerland, italy, and turkey have all opened again. those airports that remain closed remain airports across finland, england, norway, germany, scotland, poland. they are all shot. back to you, george. >> thank you very much. that is all for this edition of
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